Wondering is the Leica TL2 worth it? This modern stunner from Leica is very polarizing so let’s look at if it is worth the money, or not.
Hi, my name is Sven the Leicaphile and in this article I will outline the pros and cons and figure out is the Leica TL2 worth it or not. Let’s dig right in…
Is the Leica TL2 worth it?
It is quite the stunner
If you have bulky cameras, the Leica TL2 is worth it because it is one of the thinnest and smallest APSC sensor cameras you can get Leica or not. The minimalist approach to the design also means that there is a lot of space saved and this camera is thin.
But not only is it thin, it is also sexy. If you like how Macbooks look vs the competition, this is somewhat the same thing. This is made out of a single slab of aluminum and is quite attractive to look at with it’s modern looks.
Beefier than it looks
While the outside of a camera makes it a joy to use, it also needs to hit the right notes. Inside the TL2 is beefier than it looks. It has a large 24 megapixel APSC sensor and since it is capable of 20 frames per second, it makes it hard to miss the shot.
Even better, it comes with 32GB onboard memory so you can pretty much shoot without an SD card if you chose. This is very convenient as you can turn your SD card as a backup device. SD cards do fail, or they break apart at the worse time, so while the best option is to have two SD slots, this is the next best thing.
Usually only way larger cameras have 2 sd slots, so with the TL2 you keep the slim profile and still get to keep your images safe. There is also WIFI so you can have your images backed up not only on an SD card but also on your phone, no need for a laptop.
2 Conveniences that are hard to beat
While this is not enough to definitely say that the Leica TL2 is worth it, there are two conveniences that the TL2 has that increase the quality of life when using it. The first is the battery. This uses a quick release system like the SL cameras where there are no battery doors.
The bottom of the battery doubles as a door so you can remove and reload it like you would say, a handgun. Next convenience is the USB C port that allows for charging. This means all you really need is a cable and this will charge with your phone’s charger (Most likely if you have a relatively recent one).
It only takes about 2 hours to fully recharge the camera. For long periods of shooting you can either get an extra battery or make the most of USB C charging and simply bring an external battery to charge the camera while in your bag.
Ditch the laptop already
If you travel, that makes the Leica TL2 worth it. One of the strengths of mobile photography is that you have everything in there. You have the camera, a way to edit your images and publish them. Cameras are different, they only let you shoot, then you have to transfer the images by card, edit them and publish on the computer. They also need their separate chargers.
The TL2 is so well integrated that it really becomes an extension of the phone. No need for extra chargers, use the same you would use your phone. If you are traveling, shoot a few images and come back in the afternoon to your hotel.
Back up your images to your SD card and send a few frames on your phone, edit and publish. What extra charger? If you have a USB C phone, you don’t even need anything extra as this uses the same cable and charger that your phones does. So if you want the most minimalistic photography experience without compromising on image quality the Leica TL2 is worth it.
If we boil down photography to it’s essentials, it is pretty simple, all you need is aperture, shutter speed and ISO. And this is where the Leica TL2 shines, it removes everything but the essentials. There are no buttons in the back, just a screen, but Leica knew not to touch the dials on top.
And this is really all you need, the dials change your aperture and your shutter speed as you need. What about ISO? There is only one button on this camera and you can set the Fn button to change your ISO.
So while this camera is 100% modern it has what it needs to please photographers: dials to change the settings as they need. That makes the Leica TL2 worth it for those who like to change their settings and not rely on auto.
Same Mojo as other Leicas
The TL2 is made in Germany from a single slab of aluminum. It is 100% made by Leica themselves (vs a partnership camera with Panasonic) so it is a real Leica. So you not only get th craftsmanship but also the image quality Leica is known for.
This has the same Maestro II processor that is shared amongst Leica’s stable of cameras like the M. So the images very often look the same as the bigger sensor cameras and that makes the Leica TL2 worth it hands down.
Leica L mount & more
The Leica L mount is Leica’s digital mount. The L lenses are some of Leica’s sharpest, and combined with the large sensor the images sometimes feel like 3D that’s how good the combination is.
This shoots the Leica TL lenses but also SL lenses, as both are L mount but one is for APSC sensor while the other is for full frame. It will shoot the full frame version but these are of course bulkier. Since the L mount is an alliance you also have access to Sigma and Panasonic lenses too.
If you have M lenses, there is an adapter you can get to shoot M lenses. Since there is a lot of shared sensor and processor technology between this camera and the M cameras, you tend to get a lot of the same effect even tough this is a smaller sensor than fullframe.
What you need to know about the viewfinder
In this article trying to find out is the Leica TL2 worth it, the points made have mostly been positives. This is THE biggest negative. The TL2 lacks a viewfinder of any kind. But that is not all lost however as you can always add the Leica Viewfinder after the fact.
This supports the same EVF that the M10 does, the Leica Visoflex. While that is an extra accessory to get there is one advantage that external viewfinders have that internal ones do not: They can flip 90 degrees, so you can shoot with your head pointing down like a twin lens reflex.
Even more of a steal
When it comes to Leicas, their APSC compacts are a steal. The CL is one of the best buys you can make and the TL2 is even deeply discounted by about $1000 compared to the CL. And that is not all, while you normally should go out and get a lens, this comes with one as a kit.
Finally a real kit lens
Leicas are pretty expensive and they come without lenses. This is already one of the most affordable Leicas and it comes with a real lens. I say real lens because the kit lens that often comes with cameras are garbage slow zooms that never last. This comes with one of the first lenses you’d want to get for it in ther first place, the 18mm that will give you an equivalent of 28mm f2.8. Pretty fast lens at 2.8 and it is very slim, making it perfect to lug around all day.
Since the TL2 is 24 megapixels, you can safely crop a bit too for an equivalent of 35mm. The other lens you will want is probably the Summilux T that is an equivalent of 50mm f1.4, and yes the Bokeh is stunning. But even if you don’t get the Summilux, the kit lens makes the Leica Tl2 worth it still.
In conclusion, is the Leica TL2 worth it? A resounding yes. All you need to ask yourself is if you like the way it looks and if that is a yes, get it. It helps you completely focus on photography and has the bare minimal dials for external control operation.
The image quality is stunning and when it comes to price, this is the cheapest made-in-Germany Leica you can get, and it comes with a very nice lens to boot, so don’t miss out on it. Click here to check for best price.